Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lee Jun Fan Tape

Been looking for an intro, well more thinking about it then looking... Cha-Cha sounds for a tape I'm working on.  My hope was to find something specific, even though whatever I was looking for, I'd never heard before (I just assumed that it was out there).  Dropped by All That Music and was referred to the 50s section where we found the Cugat LP above.  I've delayed working on the tape until I found the right song for the intro... I think this Cugat record has what I need.  The final decision will come down to Cugat and some Leopoldo Silos songs I recently discovered.    

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12.21.2010 (El Paso Lunar Eclipse)

Shout out to KD for reminding me.

Monday, December 06, 2010

| El Paso Billboard |

Makes me look everytime.  Made a mental note to take a picture but kept forgetting to take the the exit off I-10.  Went on a detour early one morning and found a spot to shoot.

"NMSU vs. UNM"

84-78, Overtime.  UNM's front court is no joke.  We almost had it.  Shout out to Castillo's jump shots.  Crowd went wild.  UNM advances with only one loss and we're counting them on two hands now. 

Thursday, December 02, 2010

"Love Brought You Back"

"Try to make everyday count..." -Natalie Cole

December 1, 2010, saw Natalie Cole interviewed on the Tavis Smiley Show.  Found the record above a couple years ago.  Today, listened to it for the first time. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Course / Second Course

First record with the sides named "First Course" (A) and "Second Course" (B) I've seen.  In 2004, to promote the Soul Session program on KRUX 91.5 fm I wrote a piece that was published in The Roundup, NMSU's student newspaper.  The clip is linked from the Feliciano cover image.  If I could make beats the track I'd sample from this record: "Where Is My Woman", Second Course. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

"IIIrd Batallion (1987)"

My father during the Drill Seargent years.  Sometimes I'd wake up two hours before my time, 4 a.m. and could hear him getting prepared for the regimented schedule planned ahead.  Strict, disciplined & always on time.  Some of my favorite gifts I recieved from my Dad were his watches.  I knew a few kids that grew up with aspirations to follow their father's into a military career.  Since as far back as I can remember, I was most influenced by my father's creativity.  When I first started writing, I'd try to copy his penmanship, sketches and signature.  On most LPs that he owned, he'd always sign a certain part of the record with his signature style.  One of those records, Thriller.  I've got a few people I regard as having been influential in my life, but it all started and continues with my father and mother. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Seventh Child"

"The book's title resulted from the fact that Uncle Malcolm was a seventh child.  In African mythology, and science, it is believed that the seventh child will emerge as a leader of his people.  Malcolm also considered seven his favorite number.  That's why, when he was head of Temple Seven in Harlem, he named three other temples in New York City 7A, 7B, and 7C.  He also noted in his autobiography that "among over eight thousand other seats in Miami's Big Convention Hall [for 1963 Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston championship fight] I received seat number seven.  Seven has always been my favorite number.  It has followed me throughout my life."  (Preface, xii)*

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Thundercats

Today I finished prints on my first photo shoot with flag football squad, the Thundercats.  Shout out to the team, a hilarious group of unique kids with bright futures and a cool lineup of coaches & parents.  To the Candelaria fam, much thanks and love.

Wouldn't it be cool if we created trading cards post season from the sport leagues that the kids are involved with and celebrate them for the celebrities that they are?  Imagine that. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Monday, November 08, 2010

"Feliciano (1968)"

One of the greatest albums I've ever heard.

The story of Jose Feliciano & the Star Spangled Banner: YOUTUBE

Thursday, November 04, 2010

"The Sound of Philadelphia"

On Side Two heard the childhood-familiar Soul Train anthem "TSOP" produced by Kevin Gamble and Leon Huff (1974). 

"Take good care of yourself..." -The Three Degrees

"Chess Everywhere (The Week)"

Was reading a Washington Post article about Tuesday's elections and seen an advertisement for The Week Magazine.  The advertisement included two magazine covers, one of them of the illustration included above.  Did some searching on google and found out through Ebay that it was an October 2009 issue and shortly after stumbled across illustrator Fred Harper's website.   The image above is linked to Harper's www location, check it out.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

"Sun (Hues)"

This evening, I'm walking incline towards Sam's store, saw the Sun, and asked myself:

"How can I not take a picture?"  Ran back for my camera. 


Converse 45' Series*

"Happy Just To Be Like I Am (Taj Mahal)"
-click on image-

Monday, November 01, 2010

"To Pearl Tso"

"There are two ways of making a good living.  One is the result of hard working, and the other, the result of imagination (requires work, too, of course).  It is a fact that labor and thrift produce a competence, but fortune, in the sense of wealth, is the reward of the man who can think of something that hasn't been thought of before.  In every industry, in every profession, ideas are what America is looking for.  Ideas have made America what she is, and one good idea will make a man what he wants to be." ~Bruce Lee*

Letters of the Dragon; Correspondence, 1958-1973*
'To Pearl Tso', September 1962

"Scene (11.01.2010)"
-click on image to enlarge-

Before the Thundercat shoot.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Nolan Ryan - P"

"Proper pitching mechanics improve efficiency, thereby increasing power while decreasing arm strain.  Stride length is consistent and comfortable.  The knee on the pivot leg drops slightly to drive off the rubber.  The throwing elbow, at or above shoulder level, leads the arm.  The arm is relaxed to generate maximum speed.  The throwing hand continues down and through after release.  The pivot leg completes the motion by squaring to the batter." -Pinnacle, 1992*

For the World Series. 

I never watched much baseball growing up.  Thought it was boring.  Since the late 80s I concentrated on Magic & the Lakers, Cunningham & the Eagles and Boxing.  However, I loved to collect cards all of kinds.  From NBA Hoops, Donruss, Skybox, Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer, Score, the Conlon collection, NFL Pro Set, Wild Cards, the Classic College collection, etc. (even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle trading cards I picked up at Goodtimes during the early 90s).  I kept up with all the players, football, baseball and basketball, often times visiting the local card shop to view the latest Beckett pricing guide.  Many names are embedded in my memory even til' this day.  Names like Wade Boggs, Ryan Sandberg, Lenny Dykstra, Dave Justice, Sandy Alomar, Jr., George Brett, Ozzie Guillen, etc.  I couldn't tell you much about their baseball careers, I just know I had some of their cards. 

As far as playing the game on the street, I use to love stickball.  Often times when summer broke out, a lot of us kids living in Cooperstown would gather up as many of us as we could and get a stickball game going.  Our neighborhood is made up of a bunch of streets and avenues named after hall of fame baseball players. Most of our games went down in the middle of Yogi Berra...the curbs were bases, we used a bat or stick/tennis or racquetball, and the gate surrounding my house was the outfield fence.  When my father was younger, him and his late twin brother were deep into baseball.  They grew up in the Tri-State area and would frequent the Connie Mac Stadium for Phillies games.  They both even had the chance to meet Willie Mays and got his autograph on a baseball glove.  A lot of memorabilia that my father and uncle collected, including trading cards, has since been lost.  Only an old New York Yankees photograph and an autographed baseball/photograph of the Philadelphia Phillies (1966) is what's left.

For some reason, I started watching baseball this year.  Caught the last SF/Phillies game and have been watching the Texas/SF World Series.  I learned that Nolan Ryan was president and co-owner of the Rangers when the camera zoomed in on him and his family.  Along with players like Cal Ripken, Jr., Roger Clemens, Kirby Puckett, Ricky Henderson, Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey, Jr., Bo Jackson... when I found a Nolan Ryan card, I kept it. 

The card above is one of my favorite of Nolan Ryan.

"El Paso and its sister city across the Rio Grande - Juárez, Mexico - form the world's largest border town, a valley of sinister warrens and glittering high-rises between two mountain ranges divided by a puny culvert called the Rio Grande.  The Great River.  From the slopes of Mt. Franklin or Mt. Cristo Rey, it doesn't look so great - it looks as though a child could hop it.  As an international boundary, the river is an absurd symbol, though a natural one:  it is the reason for this place, and what happened here.  You can wade it, and for that reason the 1.3 million who live in this poverty-stricken micro citystate have never identified with a common heritage or a negotiated one.  They make it up as they go.  They appear to go in slow motion, a mile a minute, night and day, creating a smoky delirium in which life is at the same time a bit more precious and a bit less.  Some blame a natural tranquilizing agent in the water supply, but others believe it is the attitude of isolation and neglect.  There is an almost comic book somnambulism in the people's indifference to the laws of two nations, and in their attitude to time and place.  But there is a chilling reality to this culture's fidelity to its own code."

-Gary Cartwright, Cinco Puntos Press

"1st Photo Shoot"

Scheduled for Monday, November 1, 2010.  Individual (5 by 7/wallet size/poster) and team shots (11 by 14).  Here is a picture of one of the Thundercats on defense.  Photo linked to the Flag Football gallery.  Shout out to DJ SA and Young B. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sony Retires the Cassette Walkman After 30 Years

"After retiring the floppy disk in March, Sony has halted the manufacture and distribution of another now-obsolete technology: the cassette Walkman, the first low-cost, portable music player."

"Bars (1 Pull-Up @ a Time)"


Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Marble Man vs. El Paso"

Contesting a parking citation.  Had 1 minute left and still got a ticket.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"It's a Scrapbook"

"It's a scrapbook."

"Yeah.  I'm going to let you look at it, Lonnie," he said.  "I don't want you to say nothing to nobody about it, you understand?"

"I ain't mouthy," I said.  "You don't want nobody to know about your scrapbook, ain't nobody going to know."

"You're right about one thing," he said.  "It is scrap.  That's my life you got there in your hands.  Scraps.  Pieces of things stuck in an old book that nobody knows about."

I opened the book, and it was like one of those old black-and-white movies you see on television sometime.  The pictures were almost all cut from newspapers, and were turning yellow.  They were all about basketball games.

"This you?"  I asked.  "Spider Jones?"

(p. 57)

"Three (3) Photographs"

Got the chance to check out an exhibit @ UTEP.  Snapped several shots of specific sections in each of the photographs.  A photo of a photo.  In this image, there are three cameras involved.  The image is linked to the exhibit online.

"Sun Rises in the East"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 09, 2010

"Banana Clip Instrumentals"

A classic collection of beats and cool memory of working radio and discovering new music every week.  Our station recieved a few Algorithm & Dave Ghetto vinyl/cds from Counter Flow Recordings.  The sounds create a clear picture of the time.  The Algorithm records were one of the most creative and dope I'd heard.  Volume 1 & 2?     

Friday, October 08, 2010

"1988 (12')"

Microphones to big screens.  Is Will Smith the most acclaimed rapper/actor?  I'd say yes.  The record above is this week's find.  When my father got back from his Army duties out  at the U.A.E. he brought back a ton of cassettes, several of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

"NBA 2K11 Review"

Remember Double Dribble on NES? 5 on 5 and automated dunk scenes? Simple fun. When NBA Live (Sega Genesis) hit, I can’t remember thinking about expectations beyond that. I recall spending most game time on NBA Live and EA Sports Coach K College Basketball. Classics.

Consoles have changed quick ever since. From the Genesis to Sega Saturn (for me), then PS1, PS2, PS3 and if you Google… coming soon PS4. Each upgrade distributing its own impressive titles. Since the era of Sega Genesis, I stayed a fan of EA Sports with a disappointing exception every now and then.

Fast forward to October 2010, three years after picking up NBA Live (PS3) titles like clockwork. October 5th was the release date, with a new name, NBA Elite and the addition of a new NBA Jam. NBA Jam was the first basketball game I owned when I first bought a Genesis, inspired by Arcade time. October 5th though, I discover NBA Elite gets pushed back to spring 2011! Half way into the NBA season?! A clerk confirmed today that the shelf life is April. Crazy.

Expecting the worst, I figured I’d do some searches online and go with basketball’s next best. Google directed all traffic to NBA 2K11, with much hype. Some reviewers considered it the best b-ball game ever. And with Air Jordan on the cover the press is a match made in NBA hell.

My review of NBA 2K11 starts now. And I’ll keep it short. I couldn’t bother playing past the opening, a Chicago Bulls throwback. Afterwards I tried a versus option (Boston & L.A.) against my brother that lasted 2 quarters. The game play doesn’t hold an X button to Live ’10. Each and every player is awkwardly blocked, reminiscent of NBA Konami before Y2K. The controls slide players up the court and during zoom-ins most player expressions are lifeless zombie stares into multiple dynasty modes.

EA Sports, what happened?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

"Soul Brothers"

With some musicians, I became a fan of their music by way of film.  As mentioned in a previous post for example, my discovery of Sam Cooke through the song "A Change is Gonna Come" in Malcolm X.  With the Isley Brothers, it was a scene from the Hughes Brothers film Menace II Society that started my Isley collection (prior to hearing the "Between the Sheets" sample for B.I.G.'s debut).  The scene where Caine confronts Chauncy for messing with his girl Ronnie played by Jada Pinkett Smith ("For the Love of You" playing in the background).  As I made my way through the Isley Brothers' catalogue over the years, I found certain songs that I was able to trace back to other scenes and Hip Hop samples that would inadvertently lead me towards what I would like most about their soulful sound.

Not too long ago I visited a Sams Store to purchase a few things and made my way to the photography counter to avoid the long lines.  As the clerk rang up my items, I could hear the Isley Brother's on the television behind me, a live version of "Who's that Lady" on Soul Train.  I asked, "...Is this on tv?"  Turned out, a DVD of 3 discs were being sold, stacked next to the big screen.  The DVDs included Soul Train performances from Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers and many others.

I picked up a copy.    

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Sittin' on Chrome"

Masta Ace, I.N.C.

"That music is the answer... And it goes on..." (repeat) | 'Da Answer' (track 13)*

At the last home football game (Aggie Stadium) me and the soulVerse crew had a discussion about albums we don't skip through, Hip Hop classics.  Ready to Die by B.I.G. was thrown out there... Pac albums were debated... Illmatic was mentioned... I think Pidi mentioned Em... I said Let's Get Free by dead prez & Scars and Memories by Grimm ... Soul on Ice by Ras... Jus mentioned Ghostface's Supreme Clientele.  And we discussed the Wu's 90's catalog... some early Kast records, QB records, Dre's debut, etc.

On my day off this week, I recieved Sittin' on Chrome by Masta Ace.  I had to re-order this album after giving it away some years before.  Been ridin' to it for the past couple days.  Opening rotation, no skips. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"A Change in Time (NYC)"
Photograph by Jamel Shabazz*

CLICK HERE  to view an interview  I conducted for Hip Hop Alumni (HHA) with photographer Jamel Shabazz, author of several photography texts including A Time Before Crack and Seconds of My Life.  The interview is titled 'The Kingdom, Brooklyn, 1981'...  Much respect to Jamel Shabazz!

Jamel Shabazz Interview: CLICK HERE

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Celebrating Victory with the King of Soul"

This week, I'll be checking out the Sam Cooke album above.  It was Cooke's last album released within his lifetime and features one of my favorite songs, 'A Change is Gonna Come'.  I first heard this song in 1992, at 11 years old, in the company of my brother's godfather and his son (my friend) at the premier of the Spike Lee film Malcolm X in an El Paso theatre. 

Today, I was reading the Muhammad Ali Handbook by Dave Zirin and arrived to a chapter titled 'Celebrating victory with the King of Soul'...  Here is a quote, "After the fight (vs. Sonny Liston in Miami), Clay (Cassius X) had nowhere to go because his promoters, not expecting a victory, didn't plan for a victory celebration.  Instead he went back to Malcolm X's hotel to eat vanilla ice cream with Malcolm, Sam Cooke, and football great and political activist Jim Brown."  ...Imagine that. 

On March 13, 2004, I broadcasted a program called A Session of Malcolm X, which I also subtitled, A Session of Sam Cooke on KRUX 91.5 fm (NMSU).  Throughout the two hour broadcast, rotation included speeches by Malcolm X, and various musicians including some of my favorite songs from Sam Cooke, 'A Change is Gonna Come', 'Peace in the Valley', 'Chain Gang', 'Wonderful World', 'Mean Old World' & 'End of My Journey'.  It was what I considered at the time, my most accomplished moment on air.

"Wu Tang Forever (Ciudad Juárez 06')"
-Click on image to enlarge-

"Those same twelve notes have been here since the beginning.  The combinations may be almost infinite, but it all has the same basic limited foundation.  Whether it's being sampled or not, it's the repitition."

-The RZA, Tao of Wu
Digital Culture, Art in the Age of Ones and Zeros

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Avoid things that die easy,
and get your own soul ready to die well..."
-Gordon Parks

"Flag Football"
Season (1)

Working on a highlight video for a good friend of his son's 1st season on the flag football team.  The image above is linked to a larger picture.  Shout to Young S.A.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

"When I write  I bid farewell to myself
I leave most of what I know behind and wander through the landscape
of language..." ~Jimmy Santiago Baca* 

Quote from Arts, Literacy and the Classroom Community Video: click here*
"Sunset (El Paso)"

"Picture me rollin'..." -2Pac

"The Aggie"

One night away from the Battle of i-10... NMSU vs. UTEP.  Last week I bet on PHI, and lost a few crispy 1's.  This week the stakes are higher.  Picture above is linked to a day time shot from my Blackberry of the Aggie's season opener against San Diego.  So far, 0-1, NMSU.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Two for One (Gato & Corea)"
-Latin Connection-

An incredible record. I think I found the sample of a track I hadn't heard in years from an MC & producer I met while at KRUX 91.5 fm. The track is "Latin Connection" on Gato's Ruby, Ruby 77' LP. The MC & producer is Good 4 Nothin', which consisted of an MC by the name of Chase Millions and the producer Benneli.  I can't remember the name of their track (and I don't know if I might have the production confused since Chase made music with a few others). Chase & Benneli created a dope collection of tracks in Las Cruces, New Mexico while I was on air. I recall Benneli adding on to the base line of one of my favorite Barry White songs and looping the audio for a talk over. Listening to "Latin Connection" off the Gato record a couple days ago, the music sounded crazy familiar. I kept replaying the track thinking if I played it enough times, I'd remember. At first, I thought it might've been a sample used by Ghost, Pun, Technique, or some artist I'd randomly heard back when downloading off of Soul Seek. Didn't think I'd remember til' it occured to me who it was... Chase & Benneli. A lot of those tracks I was rotating during the early millenium have since been lost, but if I find the cassette recording of an interview we did at KRUX I'll post it up.  There's not much online about the "Latin Connection" song which also (to my suprise) features Marvin Gaye on the credits.

When I bought this record a few months ago, I thought it was a double Gato vinyl. I didn't get around to listening to it til' now. Instead, the extra record was by Chick Corea, 78', titled Secret Agent.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Heaven or Hell" (12')

All-time favorite track from a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


It doesn't seem so long ago until you see how old these kids are now.  My brother (far left) in an Atlanta Falcons jersey, our younger brother's Godfather (middle), and the godfather's daughter (right).